As Ireland reopens in Phase Three of the lifting of COVID restrictions, the NTA has warned that the country is still not 100 percent.

Anyone found not to be wearing a face mask while using public transport in Ireland could be fined, according to the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA said that members of the public would be “encouraged” to wear masks as the country enters phase three of lockdown restrictions.

However, she insisted that as of next week, the NTA will be enforcing the new regulation of mandatory masks on buses and trains, etc, and will be handing out fines to those who aren't adhering to the rules.

Graham stressed that as lockdown is lifted and the use of public transport gradually begins to increase, the use of masks will become more important than ever, particularly with public transport capacities being raised to 50 percent.

Read more: WHO say Irish scientist's COVID vaccine is the "leading candidate"

"As restrictions ease, we will see increased demand. We are still not at 100 percent," she said.

"We would encourage people to work from home if they can and they should consider walking or cycling to work if their commute is short."

Restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and the like reopened in Ireland this week, but the public is being warned that the risk of spreading COVID-19 is far from eliminated and that they shouldn't expect to return to life as normal just yet, despite the easing of restrictions.

Monday marked the first major relaxation of lockdown regulations and people are being reminded that a two-meter social distancing rule is still in place.

Read more: Coronavirus live updates from Ireland

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